Saturday, October 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

This isn't patriotism. It's the bluster of the deeply insecure.
Eric Liu, source

This ties in with this from Abrose Bierce:
One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.
Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.

Wall Of Voodoo "Shouldn't Have Given Him a Gun For Christmas"

Kurt Hofmann Calls the NRA a Moderate Gun Control Group


But on second thought, perhaps such an organization really does exist. There exists, after all, an organization that repeatedly calls for the government to "enforce existing gun laws," and even says that failure to do so is a crime. The same group supported enormously restrictive regulation of fully-automatic firearms, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and even a safety device (suppressors, routinely, if inaccurately, referred to as "silencers"). The Gun Control Act of 1968 passed with this group's blessing.
Still, by virtue of fighting against bans of so-called "assault weapons," and "high capacity" magazines, for supporting the right to armed self-defense outside the home, and for the right to stand one's ground when violently attacked in a place one has a right to be, for opposing efforts to ban private gun sales, and for opposition to various other of the very worst proposed infringements on that which shall not be infringed, the NRA can plausibly claim not to be among the extremists for "gun control."

Indiana 9-Month-old Dead - Daddy Forgot the Round in the Chamber

Jacob Hambaugh

Local news reports

A 9-month-old shot in Howard County while his dad was trying to clean a gun has died, according to police.

The incident happened Wednesday night. Officials with the Howard County Sheriff’s Department said the child’s father, John Hambaugh III, 31, was taking apart a gun to clean it but there was still a round inside. 

It discharged, striking the father in the thigh before hitting the baby in the head. 

I suppose the gun-rights commenters believe one-strike-you're-out is too severe for this guy. It was only an accident, after all.

Washington School Shooting - 2 Dead - 5 Wounded, 3 Critical

local news

Friday, October 24, 2014

Not good

The first step in dealing with a problem is admitting you have a problem.

Georgia Gun Shop Employee Arrested

Local news reports

"mug shot from a previous arrest?"  I say the owner should be arrested too.

Nebraska High School School Will Allow Students To Pose With Guns In Yearbook Photos

Huffington Post

Students at a high school in Nebraska will now be allowed to pose with guns in their senior portraits.
The Broken Bow School Board made the decision to allow the guns in school photos this week after a student asked last year to be photographed with his gun, Broken Bow Public Schools Superintendent Mark Sievering told The Huffington Post. That student asked after the deadline last year, but his request prompted the board to review their practices around guns in pictures and vote on whether they should allow them.
The school board voted 6-0 to allow the guns in photos as long as the images are tasteful, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
"Tasteful," Haha

Quote of the day

"Whenever people talk about traditional marriage or traditional families, historians throw up their hands. We say, 'When and where?'"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Education is more important than weapons.

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, (A)nd if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it,”--Thomas Jefferson
"If Virtue & Knowledge are diffused among the People, they will never be enslav'd. This will be their great Security."
Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779
“There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.” --John Adams

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”--James Madison
I congratulate you on the foundation thus laid for a general System of Education, and hope it presages a superstructure, worthy of the patriotic forecast which has commenced the Work. The best service that can be rendered to a Country, next to that of giving it liberty, is in diffusing the mental improvement equally essential to the preservation, and the enjoyment of the blessing.
James Madison letter to Littleton Dennis Teackle, March 29, 1826; from the Madison Papers at the University of Virginia

No feature in the aspect of our Country is more gratifying, than the increase and variety of Institutions for educating the several ages and classes of the rising generation, and the meritorious patriotism which improving on their most improved forms extends the benefit of them to the sex heretofore, sharing too little of it. Considered as at once the fruits of our free System of Government, and the true means of sustaining and recommending it, such establishments are entitled to the best praise that can be offered.
James Madison letter to Gulian C. Verplanck, February 14, 1828; from the Madison Papers at the University of Virginia


Florida Homeowner Commits a Legitimate DGU, Killing the Intruder

Guns dot com

FOX 13 News

And meanwhile in the UK...

As Canada gets its share of US Gun violence, the British Parliament faces a different kind of threat:

Steven Abberley charged with House of Commons marble throwing

Yes, a man threw marbles in the Commons (UK Parliament--you know the building with the tower that holds Big Ben) during Prime Minister's question time.
It is claimed Mr Abberley sparked a security alert by hurling the marbles towards MPs during the debate.
Wait, it gets better:
He has also been charged with criminal damage after allegedly scrawling offensive graffiti on a wall on the Parliamentary estate between 6 and 7 May.

MPs and journalists heard a loud bang and shouting at about 12.30 BST on Thursday, but the proceedings were not disturbed.
Yes, but unlike the bangs in North America, this was the clattering of marbles.

Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, Concealed Carry Permit Holder, Arrested While Carrying

from ssgmarkcr

   I came upon this and found it to be quite ironic. 

Missouri state senator Jamilah Nasheed is a supporter of harsh gun control laws… for other people.
She routinely carries a concealed weapon, even while possibly under the influence.
Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed had a gun in her possession at the time she was arrested Monday night outside the Ferguson Police Department, according to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson.
Nasheed declined comment about the having the weapon, but did tell News 4 she has a concealed carry permit. A Ferguson police officer said Nasheed was carrying a fully-loaded 9 mm handgun and additional rounds.
Sources also told News 4 Ferguson police requested St. Ann to administer a breathalyzer test at the time of her arrest because she “smelled strongly of intoxicants,” but Nasheed refused to do so. Nasheed said Tuesday she was not intoxicated at the time.
Nasheed was the co-sponsor of last years Missouri Senate Bill 124,  which would have required gun owners with children in Missouri schools to notify the schools that they owned firearms, and threatened to filibuster any legislation supported by the National Rifle Association.

I suspect that law enforcement would be well within their rights to revoke Nasheed’s permit for refusing to take the breathalyzer while carrying.

   Interestingly, the major media outlets to include Foxnews seem to be not mentioning it so far. 

Yes, indeed, she should not only lose her permit to carry, but also her right to own.

Robert J. Lintner, Victim of Domestic Stabbing, Indicted on Weapons Charges

NJ dot com and further to our earlier report

A Saddle Brook man found with more than 300 pounds of gunpowder and 195 firearms in his township home after his wife stabbed him over the summer was indicted Tuesday on weapons charges, authorities said.

Robert J. Lintner, 65, was charged in a 10-count indictment with having five illegal assault rifles and 65 outlawed high-capacity ammunition magazines, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a statement. Authorities said three of the seized rifles were submachine guns.

The seized weapons included a Sten 9mm machine gun, an Auto Ordnance Corp. Thompson submachine gun and a US Carbine M1 short assault rifle, according to the indictment.

Bergen County Police Department bomb technicians removed the hundreds of pounds of black and smokeless gunpowder from Lintner’s Washington Street home in August, the prosecutor said. The legal limit of black gunpowder that can be stored residentially is 50 pounds and 100 pounds for the smokeless variety.

James Woods for Congress - Arizona's Congressional District 5

Local news reports

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WWII on the US mainland?

The fake quote about Japan not attacking the US because of all the American guns is exactly that: fake. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour brought the US into the war, but that was not in the 48 States. The Japanese had their own version of the Doolittle raid, but they used a submarine instead of using an Aircraft carrier. Unfortunately, the type of plane and navigation system meant that the submarine based raids were more a morale booster for the Japanese than a significant action.

Likewise, There were things like the Bombardment of Ellwood, CA by submarine.  And the Japanese firebomb baloon programme which were also dismal failures. The bottom line was that most WWII bombers did not have the range to attack the mainland US.  The Germans did have their Amerika Bomber programme, which fortunately didn't get anywhere.  Even more fortunately, the German rocket and heavy water programmes never got anywhere either.
So, it was primarily logistics and inability to hit the US mainland which is far more of a reason the US was never attacked.

Still, there was also a sea war off the coast of the US. The period from January to around August 1942 was called the Second Happy Time, or American Shooting Season, by German U-Boat Commanders. US Anti-submarine defense measures were weak and disorganized during
that period The U-boats were able to inflict massive damage with little risk. During this period, Axis submarines sank 609 ships totaling 3.1 million tons and the loss of thousands of lives, mainly those of merchant mariners, against a loss of only 22 U-boats. This was roughly one quarter of all shipping sunk by U-boats during the entire Second World War.

  The German submarine U-869 was found off the coast of New Jersey in 1991. The U-550 was found off the Coast of Massachusetts in 2012The latest find is in North Carolina.  Unlike the other two U-boats I mentioned, this one also has one of its victims nearby.
A research team using sonar found the wrecks of U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields on 30 August in waters off Cape Hatteras, just 240 yards apart. The U-boat had attacked the Bluefields, which was operating under the flag of Nicaragua and was part of a convoy of 19 merchant ships.
There are at least another 19 of these German submarines lying off the US Coast.

The reality is that North America was attacked during WWII, but most of those have been forgotten due to the ineffectiveness and relative insignificance of the attacks on the US Mainland.  The reality was that it wasn't guns that kept the US from being attacked as much as other strategic considerations which made a large scale attack, like that at Pearl Harbour, unlikely.

See also:

Shooting at Canadian Parliament (or Chrissy Teigen is correct)

Let's not forget the 1998 US Capital shooting, where two Capital Police officers were killed and three people wounded:

It seems there are other shooting incidents, but unlike this one, which actually occurred inside the Capital, they are usually on Capital grounds.

Note how people act as if it is a normal event in the above clip.

There was another shooting inside the Capital in 1954.

3D-printed Gun Maker in Japan Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

Japan man jailed for making guns with 3D printer
Yoshitomo Imura

The Verge

A 28-year-old former university employee was sentenced today in Japan to two years in prison for manufacturing plastic 3D-printed firearms in violation of national weapons laws, according to The Japan News. Yoshitomo Imura is said to have created at least two plastic guns at his home in Kawaski, Japan, that were capable of firing bullets, according to the report. He appears to be the first person in world history to receive a jail sentence for making 3D-printed firearms.

Imura was previously an employee at the Shonan Institute of Technology, according to The Japan Times. He was arrested in May after posting videos and blueprints of his 3D-printed weapons online. Police reportedly seized five plastic weapons from his home. A video uploaded to file-sharing websites almost a year ago, allegedly created by Imura, shows the creation and firing of a 3D-printed "Zig Zag" revolver capable of firing six .38 caliber bullets, as Wired previously reported. While the prosecution in Imura's case called for a three-and-a-half year prison sentence, the judge certainly didn't go easy on Imura, saying he "flaunted his skills and knowledge and attempted to make gun controls toothless."

US Gun Deaths Have Been Increasing for 14 Years


Guns and cars have long been among the leading causes of non-medical deaths in the U.S. By 2015, firearm fatalities will probably exceed traffic fatalities for the first time, based on data compiled by Bloomberg.
While motor-vehicle deaths dropped 22 percent from 2005 to 2010, gun fatalities are rising again after a low point in 2000, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shooting deaths in 2015 will probably rise to almost 33,000, and those related to autos will decline to about 32,000, based on the 10-year average trend.
I don't really care about the comparison to car deaths.  What I like about this chart is that it shows the increase in gun deaths since 2000.  This provides us with a long enough time span to work with.  The pro-gun insistence of starting any discussion about trends in gun deaths at 1993 becomes less tenable every year.

Threats to Americans - Ranked

…and NOT by media hype
1. (tie) cancer & heart disease
2. traffic accidents
3. guns
4. climate change
5. War in the Balkans
6. The flu
Note that ISIS and Ebola are not yet mentioned, yet the media and politicians hype them above all others.
Your health ranks well above the hyped stories, but the ‘fear factor’ puts us all on edge. In fact, household accidents ranks higher than Ebola.
What does this show us? The two largest cable news networks, CNN and FOX enjoy scaring the hell out of us and it sells advertising time. It’s all about the money for CNN and it’s about feeding the base for Fox.

Florida Woman Injured by a Dropped Gun - Another One

Local news reports

A woman was clearing out a closet and forgot about a loaded, .22-caliber gun that was on the shelf, according to Bellbrook police. The gun fell and discharged a bullet into the woman’s right calf, police said. 

She was taken by squad to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment. She was the only one in the home, said police, who advise residents not to keep a loaded gun unsecured in your home.

Silencer Scandal

A Marine with Scout Sniper Platoon, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment stands ready to engage a target with an M4A1 Carbine with silencer attachment during a shooting training exercise at marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., on Sept. 26, 2013. JOSEPH SCANLAN/U.S. MARINE CORPS

Stars and Stripes

Three senior Navy civilian officials testified Monday that they never authorized $1.6 million for a secret operation to buy hundreds of rifle silencers for the Navy SEALs and were instead told the money would be used to pay for intelligence studies and consultants.
The testimony, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, came on the opening day of the trial of Lee M. Hall, a civilian intelligence director for the Navy who is charged with theft and conspiracy in one of the more bizarre contracting scandals to emerge from the Pentagon in recent years.
Prosecutors argued that Hall and his boss, David Landersman, who led an obscure intelligence office for the Navy, bilked the government by persuading Navy officials to set aside more than $1.6 million in excess funds and then creating a sweetheart classified contract for Landersman's brother, a recently bankrupt California auto mechanic.
In exchange, the mechanic, who is scheduled to go on trial next week, delivered 349 homemade silencers designed to fit AK-47-style automatic rifles — although the suppressors cost him only about $10,000 in parts and labor to manufacture, according to court documents and testimony. Even worse, prosecutors said, the silencers didn't work.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

Of course, the serious studies are finding that the gun for protection belief is most likely false.

Why else would the gun lobby want to prevent serious research into this issue if the results didn't go against their claims?

Large US Cities on the Liberal/Conservative Spectrum


Data apparently based on city policies, not on population surveys, from this study, via BoingBoing.

Gun Nut, Oscar Pistorius Gets Away With Murder - He'll Serve Only 10 Months

Oscar Pistorius held the hands of family members after being sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday. 
CreditPool photo by Herman Verwey

The New York Times

With a judge seeking to strike a balance between mercy and retribution, Oscar Pistorius, the South African track star, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. 

The athlete’s defense team said the law under which he was punished calls for him to serve only one-sixth of the prison term — 10 months — before he can be placed on house arrest. He was also given a suspended three-year term on separate firearms charges.

Do Rights Have Limits?


All rights come with limitations, that's the point. Do you have a problem with that? In other words the "shall not be infringed" part of the 2A is not to be taken literally at least not in its extreme sense.


My problem with your statement is that it is inexact, and that this lack of specificity leads to the erosion of rights. The government's ability to proscribe speech that directly incites violence or illegal activity is not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited" it is because direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech.

The government can't stop asshole racists from calling for the elimination of the rights of other races because that still falls under the category of protected speech. Meanwhile, it can stop them if they are holding a rally and calling for the people at the rally to start lynching passers by.

Similarly, non-protected weapons, e.g. nuclear weapons, can be proscribed, but whatever weapons are protected, but whatever weapons are covered, for the sake of argument let's say at least muzzle loaders (though I think, and the court has agreed, it goes further), cannot be outlawed.

As for the felons issue, the constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law--the prohibition on felons, as well as other aspects of infamy, attach to them by the operation of due process. This isn't a matter of the right not being absolute--it is a matter of them losing a right as a punishment for a crime they have been convicted of.

This is why I have this huge problem with your inaccurate, sloppy legal statements.

Mr. Anonymous is apparently being serious when he says the limits on free speech are "not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited."" That's got to be one of the best pro-gun spins I've ever seen. He goes on to explain that the reason is simply because those forms of speech that are not protected by the 1A are "direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech." His circular logic boggles the mind.

Moving on to guns, he informs us that " whatever weapons are protected,""cannot be outlawed." I wonder how he understood the AWB before it was allowed to expire, or for that matter, the strict rules in places like NY and NJ.  How does "cannot be outlawed" work in those cases, I wonder.

About felons he has no problem for the simple reason that "due process of law" was followed.  By that logic, I suppose anything goes as long as it receives due process. Sounds like good news for the gun control movement.

Texas Man Kills his Brother and Gets Away with Manslaughter

Local news reports

Russell Brand on the State of the Union

Monday, October 20, 2014

Bad Dogs

OK, this gave me a real chuckle as a dog person.

Although, I would categorise Congress as being more the out of control type of dog that needs some serious discipline since it is pigging out on treats...

Then again, bad owners end up with bad dogs.

Congress needs some serious "yank and spank" (and stick a bark collar on them to keep them from filibustering).

See also:

Justice Ginsburg Sees What Motivates Texas' Voter ID Law: Racism

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (The Washington Post / The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The LA Times

As  one might expect, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had no difficulty putting her finger on the point of Texas' voter ID law: it's openly racist. 

Ginsburg's colleagues voted 6-3 to allow the Texas law to remain in effect for the upcoming election. But as she observed in a scathing dissent issued Saturday, the measure may prevent more than 600,000 registered voters, or 4.5% of the total, from voting in person for lack of accepted identification. "A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic," she wrote. 

The law's intent is "purposely discriminatory," Ginsburg concluded. Citing the U.S. District Court ruling that declared the Texas law unconstitutional, she observed that since 2000, Texas has become a majority-minority state. That gave its Legislature and governor "an evident motive to 'gain partisan advantage by suppressing'" the votes of blacks and Latinos.

Is there any better testament to the bankruptcy of Republican political ideas than the party's consistent effort to win elections by limiting the vote?

Lead Poisoning at Gun Ranges


The Charlotte Observer reports

A confused 38-year-old father in Kentucky rarely crawled out of bed.

A conservation volunteer in Iowa lost feeling in his hands and feet.

A 5-year-old girl in suburban Seattle doubled over in pain and vomited.

The cause of their suffering: lead poisoning. The source: dirty gun ranges.

Indoor, outdoor, public and private, gun ranges dot the national landscape like bullet holes riddling a target, as the popularity of shooting has rocketed to new heights with an estimated 40 million recreational shooters annually.

But a hidden risk lies within almost all of America's estimated 10,000 gun ranges: firing lead-based ammunition spreads vapor and dust filled with lead, an insidious toxin.

Thousands of workers, shooters and their family members have been contaminated at shooting ranges due to poor ventilation and contact with lead-coated surfaces, a Seattle Times investigation has found.

Read more here:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Quotes of the Day

Courtesy of Andrew Goddard, we have two quotes:
 "Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right."--Jefferson to Madison in 1789

"The idea that institutions established for the use of the nation cannot be touched nor modified even to make them answer their end because of rights gratuitously supposed in those employed to manage them in trust for the public, may perhaps be a salutary provision against the abuses of a monarch but is most absurd against the nation itself. Yet our lawyers and priests generally inculcate this doctrine and suppose that preceding generations held the earth more freely than we do, had a right to impose laws on us unalterable by ourselves, and that we in like manner can make laws and impose burdens on future generations which they will have no right to alter; in fine, that the earth belongs to the dead and not the living." --Thomas Jefferson to William Plumer, 1816.

Florida Man Commits a Near-Mass Shooting in His Home

Local news reports

Savanna Mohney, 14, and David Mohney, 11, were killed, deputies said. Their father, David Mohney, 52, was pronounced dead at the hospital, officials said.
The shooting happened at a home near Jackson Lane in the Spruce Creek Farms subdivision of Port Orange, which is about 5 miles south of Daytona Beach.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said the incident may have stemmed from an early morning domestic dispute between David Mohoney and his wife, Cynthia Mohney, 48.
Shortly after 5 a.m., Cynthia Mohney ran to a neighbor's house for help, saying her husband threatened her with a gun, authorities said.

Michael Dunn Sentenced to Life Without Parole Plus 90 Years

Michael Dunn

The Guardian

The man convicted of shooting dead a Florida teenager in a dispute over loud rap music has been given the maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole plus 90 years.

Judge Russell Healey sentenced software engineer Dunn, 47, to maximum prison terms on all counts: life without parole for the first-degree murder of Davis, three consecutive 30-year sentences for the attempted second-degree murder of the teenager’s friends, who were in the car with him, and an additional 15 years for shooting into a moving vehicle.
“Mr Dunn, your life is effectively over,” Healey said. “This tragedy should and could have been prevented.”
At his murder trial that ended on 1 October, Dunn admitted firing 10 shots into the youths’ Dodge Durango during the altercation over loud music blaring from the SUV parked alongside his car. Even though he fired the final shots as the vehicle sped away, he claimed he was acting in self-defence because Davis, he said, had brandished a gun and moved to attack him after refusing to turn the volume down. Police found no weapon and witnesses said they never saw one.

Playing The Star-Spangled Banner with a Gun